War is Where the Hearth is: Gendered Labour and the Everyday Reproduction of the Geopolitical in the Army Reserves
International Feminist Journal of Politics
Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Reason for embargo
Currently under an indefinite embargo pending publication by Taylor & Francis . 18-month embargo to be applied on publication
The feminized imaginary of ‘home and hearth’ has long been central to the notion of soldiering as masculinist protection. Soldiering and war are not only materialized by gendered imaginaries of home and hearth though, but through everyday labours enacted within the home. Focusing on indepth qualitative research with women partners and spouses of British Army reservists, we examine how women’s everyday domestic and emotional labour enables reservists to serve, constituting ‘hearth and home’ as a site through which war is made possible. As reservists – who are still overwhelmingly heterosexual men – become increasingly called upon by the state, one must consider how the changing nature of the Army’s procurement of soldiers is also changing demands on women’s labour. Feminist IPE scholars have shown broader trends in the outsourcing of labour to women and its privatisation. Our research similarly underscores the significance of everyday gendered labour to the geopolitical. Moreover, we highlight the fragility of military power, given that women can withdraw their labour at any time. The article concludes that paying attention to women’s everyday labour in the home facilitates greater understanding of one of the key sites through which war is both materialized and challenged.
This study was jointly funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ES/L013029/1) and the Ministry of Defence.
This is the author accepted manuscript.
Awaiting citation and DOI